Financial markets eased a tad despite more good news from the US data. Investors do not prefer to see improvement in economic dataflow recently as this might suggest delay in Fed's monetary easing actions. In the Eurozone, sentiment was weighed down as Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy said the country would delay seeking a bailout until conditions of any rescue package are confirmed. The conditions, according to French President Hollande, would be finalized at the October 19 European summit. Wall Street dropped with DJIA and S&P 500 losing -0.81% and -0.78% respectively. Shares in Asian session on Friday also weakened ahead of the Jackson Hole conference. In the commodity sector, the front-month contract for WTI crude oil dropped for a second consecutive day, losing initially to 93.95 before ending the day at 94.62, down -0.91%, while Brent crude changed little. Gold also slipped further as the US dollar strengthened amid easing QE3 expectations.
Personal income gained +0.3% in July, down from +0.5% a month ago, while personal spending was up +0.4% after the flat reading in June. While these readings were either inline with or missed expectations, investors worried that a positive would lead the Fed to delay monetary measures. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Fed's manufacturing composite index rose to 8 in August from 5 in July, signaling the region's manufacturing activities expanded further. As the investors await the annual Jackson Hole Symposium, they hope to hear the most from Fed Chairman Bernanke on its policy stance. However, as the conference approaches, speculations that the Chairman would hint on further easing soon lightened.
In the Eurozone, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande that Spain would not request further assistance until "it's known exactly what's on offer". However, the country is running short of money and a Valencia official recently stated that the region will need another 1B euro from the regional liquidity fund. Meanwhile, an Andalusian official said that his region might need to make similar request soon. A ECB member Joerg Asmussen from Germany insisted that ECB would only act in parallel with the EFSF/ESM and only short maturity bond would be purchased. He also required involvement of the IMF in setting conditions of new bond buying. According to Asmussen, in his opinion, "the IMF will be involved in setting the economic adjustment programs because the IMF of course has unique know-how and has high leverage as an external policeman in these cases".
On the dataflow, Eurozone's CPI probably rose +2.5% y/y in August after a +2.4% gain a month ago. The bloc's unemployment rate might have climbed higher to 11.3% in July from 11.2% in June. In the US, Chicago PMI probably slid to 53.5 in August from 53.7 in July while the final University of Michigan confidence index might have stayed at 73.6 in August.